I organized my first official zumbathon® last month but I couldn’t have pulled it off without the help of my fundraising team and some very awesome friends. It was a lot of work but it was also very rewarding.
When Faith and I first talked about hosting a zumbathon® to raise money for Big Brothers Big Sisters, I wasn’t sure how it would do. I put some feelers out to my Zumba® instructor friends and was completely overwhelmed with the positive response. Everyone wanted to help. We ended up with nine instructors teaching at the event. It was awesome!
I wanted the event to be a success so I was aiming for a huge turnout. I wanted to draw everyone to the event, not just my Zumba® fanatic friends so we agreed to have a huge raffle. I asked every single local business I could think of and, after all was said and done, we had 24 amazing raffle packages.
As an added bonus, we got 15 of these portable power chargers donated from work.
Since we didn’t have enough for everyone, the first 15 people to spend $20 in raffle tickets received one.
We also partnered with one of the local boutiques who generously gave every single zumbathon® guest $10 to spend at the store.
I bought 24 mason jars and 24 wooden easel stands and we used the hard, plastic document holders that Brian already had in storage, which we didn’t have 24 of but I didn’t think we would need all of the mason jars and stands. I had no idea we would end up running out of the hard, plastic document covers. We used all of the mason jars I had and all of the wooden easel stands and just used plastic sheet protectors for the other raffle item descriptions. It was a good problem to have.
Here’s what the raffle description sheet looked like assembled.
Lots of effort and planning went into the event. Above is the first poster I made, which had to be redone according to Zumba® requirements. The updated poster is on the right. These are the key things to remember for a zumbathon® to be approved by Home Office:
· The event title needs to be clearly listed on the flyer.
· Any flyer for a Zumba® Fitness event must list the full name of the licensed Zumba® instructor or their instructor ID.
Zumba® has major beef with unlicensed instructors also known as “party crashers” riding the coattails of the Zumba® brand to promote their events so they’re very strict about seeing the full instructor names on the flyers. This way unlicensed instructors can’t use the brand. The same expectation goes for classes. You cannot call it a “Zumba®” class unless the instructor is licensed.
· Finally, any time Zumba® and Zumba® Fitness logos appear on a flyer, the following disclaimer must be added: Zumba® and the Zumba® Fitness logos are trademarks of Zumba Fitness, LLC, used under license.
Home Office doesn’t play. I had to make all of these changes before my zumbathon® could be approved and listed on the Zumba.com web site.
Because I’m a nerd, Brian and I went to scope out the gym a few weeks ahead of time. I took lots of pictures to help me plan decorations and other logistics.
Here’s the mock up of my decoration plan:
The main difference is that, even though I bought 50 feet of gold fringe, we didn’t have enough to cover that wall as planned. There’s a part where something sticks out from the wall and we had to fringe around it. I really should have brought a tape measure and measured everything out instead of just eyeballing it.
We also ended up with so many raffle items that we had to take three long conference room tables and place them along the gold fringe wall to display the items and the jars. With the raffle along the gold fringe wall, we ended up moving our two coolers filled with water bottles next to the raffle ticket sales table. We stuck to the blueprint except for those two minor changes.
I bought all of this gold fringe and they still weren’t enough. I’ve made a mental note to buy 75-80 feet of gold fringe for the next event.
Here’s a picture of the front entrance of our Wichita service building… On the day of the event, I tied several colorful balloons at the bottom and the top of the three handrails. We also wrapped the tree that’s by the entrance of the parking lot with multiple colorful balloons to make it easier for people to find our event venue.
These are the matching shirts that I got for the instructors. The shirts came in aqua blue (Christina, Amy, and Todd), neon green (Missy, Andrea, and me), and black (Stephanie, Pat, and Charis). Brian got an honorary shirt for being such a good helper and I threw the extra blue and green shirts in the raffle.
The Friday afternoon before the event, Mike helped me bring a bunch of stuff over from the office to the gym. Brian and I were supposed to take my little sister to the Wichita State vs. Texas Tech baseball game that night but she canceled on me last minute because her aunt, uncle, and cousins were in town. We figured that we would stay home and blow up balloons instead (so we wouldn’t have to stay up all night doing so after the game).
After we finished blowing up the balloons, Brian had the brilliant idea to make a trip to the gym to drop off some supplies so we wouldn’t have to make two trips the next day. He had the right idea. We barely had enough room for what was left.
We definitely would have had to make two trips had we not had the foresight to transport some things the night before.
I randomly bought this “Let It Move You” free-standing banner last year because I thought it was awesome and I finally found use for it.
The funny thing is, I don’t think anyone noticed it. LOL. Now I can’t wait to have another Zumba® event so I can bust it out.
These are my fabulous teammates Alicia and Alex all set to sell raffle tickets.
The instructors who came to help us setup got to preview the awesome raffle items before anyone else. I have to say, the gold fringe wall turned out pretty darn cool.
The custom banner I had made turned out awesome as well.
Eleanor came to party with us but then had to leave early. However, Francie was around to claim her prize when we drew her name in the raffle.
Here’s a fun picture of me and Alex.
Here’s me and Andrea in our matching shirts.
Here’s me and Amy.
This is me taking a selfie with one of our strategically-placed playlist printouts. Here’s the full playlist, in case you were wondering…
Here’s a group shot of the Zumba® crew who came out early to help set up.
Here’s Brian being matchy-matchy with Charis, Pat, and Stephanie.
I love this photo of me and Christina. Since we finished decorating ahead of schedule, we had some time to goof around a bit before the doors opened.
The gold fringe wall was a huge hit!
We also had fun with the two photo wall backdrops.
The photo booth props that Faith loaned us worked out great as well.
We had a disco ball at one goal and a makeshift Christmas-light chandelier at the other. We didn’t really have a specific plan for the lights because they weren’t part of my mock up but Amy brought them and by golly we were going to use them. LOL. It actually turned out pretty cool.
The event was super fun and I thought it ran pretty smoothly. I’ve made a few notes about how we can further improve the event if we hold it again next year. In the meantime, we’ve got lots of time to think and plan.